Age of War 2
And so the wheel of time turns, and civilizations come to pass. (If not tedious fantasy series.) Here we have an example in Age of War 2, a hybrid defense/strategy game that takes place in real time and sees you trying to keep the walls of your fortress secure while at the same time crushing your opponent on the other side of the field. There's no story, but maybe developer Louissi is trying to make a statement; that no provocation is ever needed, for man is a great and warlike beast, forever snuffling in the mud and gore for the next challenger, never content with peace. Or, more likely, the message is simply "Calling down lightning strikes on your enemies is rad."
The game is not terribly complex; you spawn units by clicking on their portraits at the top of the screen and they march towards the enemy base in a straight line, while your opponent is doing the same. When your forces meet, they duke it out; fallen enemies grant gold and experience points, which you need to buy more turrets and troops and upgrade your abilities. Each time you upgrade, you advance forward in time, and your fortress and troops evolve accordingly. You can bet your sweet centaurs the enemy is going to upgrade, and if they manage to do so before you, you can find yourself quickly outclassed. Apparently, in a historical game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, "satyr" trumps "ancient avatar of Anubis called forth from beneath the shifting sands". Who knew?
The whole thing is considerably more polished than its link-dumped predecessor, though the core gameplay remains the same. While it's definitely neat to watch the way your troops evolve as you advance through the ages, your enemy's base health increases as you both upgrade, so it's actually better to take 'em out sooner, if you can. It still probably isn't the sort of thing you'll find yourself coming back to again and again, but while it lasts, the end result is a fun, fast game that proves a point I've been trying to make for years; there is no problem that cannot be solved by a judicious application of carnivorous dinosaurs.